Becoming a Poll Manager
Poll Managers Needed
Because poll workers are designated and hired by state and local officials, the official name given to a poll worker varies from state to state. In some states they may be called precinct officers, election workers, clerks, judges, inspectors, commissioners, or some other hybrid name. In South Carolina, we refer to our poll workers as Poll Managers, and Clerks are designated as the Lead Poll Manager at the polling place on election day.
York County Election Officials recognize that many of our long-serving and dedicated poll managers, particularly those who fall into high-risk categories, have decided that working the polls is not worth the associated risk. We understand and respect each and every poll manager’s decision on whether to serve in this challenging time. We thank you for your service. Our sincere hope is that as our situation improves, you will be able to return to service for the voters of York County.
If you are willing and able to serve, York County and South Carolina needs you.
It is a fact we must have poll managers to have elections. Unless new poll managers step up to serve, we may be forced to close and consolidate polling places, which can cause large crowds and longer lines for voters. Aside from a person casting a ballot, nothing could be more critical to protecting the democratic process than being a poll manager. They are the guardians and gatekeepers to the voting process.
Staying Safe At the Polls
We are taking steps to help make polling places as safe as possible for voters and poll managers, including: providing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and disposable cotton swabs for making touchscreen selections. We will also provide online training when possible and small-group, socially-distanced training when necessary.
Benefits of Being a Poll Manager
Working the polls is a great way to give back to your community, and be an active part of history in the making. Poll Managers have the opportunity to meet and greet people in their local community and work side by side with neighbors and friends. For our more youthful workers, it’s a great way to enhance a college application or job resume. In addition to the personal value gained by working the polls, You Get Paid To Do A Good Thing!
Poll Worker Pay
Poll manager pay will be considered per diem and does not constitute wages. Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will not be required to report these earning when filing their weekly unemployment insurance claims, and this per diem will not count against their allowed earnings. Learn more at dew.sc.gov.The polls are open 7 AM to 7 PM on election day. Pay is based on full day.
Poll Manager Qualifications
- Poll Managers (except Poll Manager Assistants) must be registered to vote in South Carolina.
- Any 16 or 17-year-old can apply to be a Poll Manager Assistant.
- Clerks must be a registered voter in the county in which they are serving or an adjoining county.
- Poll Managers may not be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of a candidate at any polling place where the candidate’s name appears on the ballot.
Poll Manager Qualifications
- Have access to online training and email.
- Physically able to work a full election day, performing duties requiring both sitting and standing.
- Enjoy working with people, while having the ability to put aside political views and refrain from political comments.
Poll Manager’s Oaths:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States. So help me God.” (Article III, Section 26, S.C. Constitution)
“We do solemnly swear that we will conduct this election according to law and will allow no person to vote who is not entitled by law to vote in this election, and we will not unlawfully assist any voter to prepare his ballot and will not advise any voter as to how he should vote at this election.” (SC Code §7-13-100)
Poll Manager Training
The York County Certified Poll Manager Program consists of two sessions approximately 3 hours each, for in person training. However, due to COVID-19, online training coupled with small group training will be offered.
After completing the York County Certified Poll Manager Program, a Poll Manager is eligible to work any category of election. However, Poll Managers must attend refresher training prior to each election, per state law, after their initial certification. Both online and in-person poll manager training is available. Clerks are required to take additional training. All Poll Managers will be directed on what training you will be required to complete for each election.
Online training materials: